Updated: April 22, 2020
It’s natural to hit a plateau in your running progress, whether you’ve been running for years or just a few weeks. Many runners feel discouraged as they try to improve their running stamina and feel as if their progress is slow.
However, there are a few simple tricks that can help increase your running stamina more quickly.
What is running stamina?
If you are hoping to increase your running stamina, you’re probably wanting to be able to run farther or faster with the same amount of effort.
One of the greatest parts about running is that the possibilities are limitless. This sport sets us up to compete against ourselves, challenging our bodies to new race PRs, increasing distances, or simply running the same route with greater ease.
With the right tricks and strategies, improvement can be a continuous process. These 6 tricks will help you quickly improve your running stamina and endurance without making any drastic changes to your training.
6 Tricks to Easily Improve Your Running Stamina
The easiest way to increase your running stamina is to be consistent. As simple as it may sound, many runners fail to maintain consistency, especially as they are just starting to run and establishing a routine.
Training consistently helps your body adapt to the physical activity, provides ample opportunity for muscle growth, and helps improve your cardiovascular efficiency.
Building running stamina is a gradual process.
Even if you are only running a mile at a time, heading out for a run on a regular basis is bound to make the activity feel easier and easier. Before you know it, adding another mile or two to your distance will feel easier than those first individual miles ever did.
Don’t give up on boosting your running stamina when things are feeling difficult. Rather than trying to increase mileage or speed all at once, focus on maintaining consistency with your training. Before you know it, your running endurance will skyrocket.
Increase your mental strength.
Increasing your running stamina involves so much more than just physical ability. Even after days and weeks of hard workouts, long runs and recovery sessions, you might find yourself hitting a plateau and still unable to improve your endurance.
Another key aspect to boosting running stamina is taking the time to focus on your mental strength. Runners with the most efficient physical capacities are still unable to run long distances or improve their race times without a solid mental strategy.
Mental strength greatly influences your running stamina.
Spend time focusing on your mental strategy now, so that as your endurance increases, your mind will be able to power through more difficult runs.
Try playing some mind games, focusing on a mantra, or encouraging positive self-talk on the run. Find a strategy for maintaining mental strength when things get physically tough and you will set yourself up to achieve maximum running endurance.
Incorporate short speed bursts.
There’s no denying it: in order to improve your running stamina, you’ll need to improve your physical strength and aerobic capacity.
A simple way to do both is to incorporate regular speed intervals, bursts or tempo sessions into your training. Many runners are overcome with motivation and excitement at the beginning of their journey and mistakenly attempt to do too much too soon.
Rather than heading outside and sprinting as fast as you can, try incorporating short speed bursts on a regular basis.
Improving running stamina requires small efforts repeated consistently.
Try implementing short, structured intervals, such as 400 meter repeats or timed bursts of speed for one minute at a time. When faster paces start to feel a bit more comfortable, try out a tempo run and sustain a slightly faster pace for a longer period of time.
Ease into speedwork gradually to avoid physical or mental burnout. Starting small with short speed bursts just once a week is a simple yet effective way to quickly increase your running stamina and endurance.
Warm up before you run.
Starting a run with cold muscles is going to feel awfully miserable from the get go, no matter what season or climate you may be in. Taking the time to warm up before a run helps your body start out feeling fresh, setting the stage for optimal running endurance.
Set yourself up for success on each run.
Failing to warm up before a run sets the stage for discomfort, pain and even injury once you get going. If you’re hoping to increase your running stamina, adding even just a 1-2 minute running warm up may help speed things along.
Simple dynamic movements such as lunges, toe touches, butt kicks and leg swings are a great way to get your muscles warm and get your blood flowing before a run.
As you train to boost your running stamina, remember that what you do before your run can have a large impact on how you feel during.
Add in some cross training.
When you’re just getting started, it’s easy to feel as if your running stamina is improving at a snail’s pace. Running a mile feels nearly impossible in the beginning, and after a few more runs it still might feel difficult.
However, it’s important to remember that your body is making huge physical gains with each run. While it might not be overly apparent just yet, each day you spend physically active is helping increase your strength and cardiovascular efficiency.
Running stamina increases as your physical fitness improves.
A simple way to speed up this process and help boost running stamina even faster is to include regular cross training. On your off days from running, try fitting in different forms of exercise.
Work through some strength training exercises, try a different form of cardio, or boost your strength with a yoga session. Regular cross training can sometimes be even more efficient at helping improve running endurance than just increasing your running frequency.
Fuel for running endurance.
If you’re serious about improving your running stamina, then you’re going to have to train like it. And in order to train for increased mileage and speed, you’ll have to fuel your body to succeed.
Increasing the difficulty of your training requires greater effort from your entire body. Another simple way to help boost your running stamina is to fuel your body to endure more.
Efficient fueling means making conscious, healthy choices throughout the day. Choose to fill your body with healthy nutrients that will be able to sustain long distances and increased efforts on the run.
Get in the habit of fueling prior to hard workouts and refueling as soon as you return to enhance the recovery process.
Training to improve your running stamina is a great way to challenge your body and mind to hit new goals. And luckily, all it takes are a few simple tweaks to your training and you will be on your way to quickly increasing your endurance.
Don’t forget to celebrate your progress along the way, look back on how far you’ve come, and persevere when things get tough.
More tips to improve running stamina:
- 5 Ways to Quickly Increase Running Endurance
- 4 Tempo Run Workouts to Improve Running Performance
- How to Break Through a Running Plateau